An organization devoted to telling abortion stories has been using theater to make the rounds on campus, and next week one of their productions is coming to New York City for a staged reading.
The 1 in 3 Campaign has created two plays to spread awareness and end stigma. Similar to the Vagina Monologues in style and method (it’s inspired by real stories contributed to the 1 in 3 Campaign), Out of Silence: Abortion Stories from the 1 in 3 Campaign confronts the cacophony of polarizing political rhetoric that surrounds abortion and instead asks us to listen to the voices of women and to explore with them the situations, relationships, emotions and logistics that contextualize their decisions to seek abortion care.”
A second play, Remarkably Normal by Jessie Blue Gormezano: Abortion Stories from the 1 in 3 Campaign —less a series of monologue and more a coherent piece of theater — toured last spring and is arriving in NYC tonight as a benefit for the National Network of Abortion Funds.
The Vagina Monologues — though ultimately controversial — were deeply successful in changing social mores around menstruation, the word “vagina,” and women talking about their bodies. Given the pervasiveness of abortion stigma and the way it interplays with political repression, one hopes that the 1 in 3 Campaign’s use of theater will catch on and become a mainstay like its predecessor. As more celebrities talk about abortion, television shows portray the procedure, and the #shoutyourabortion hashtag continues to reverberate, theater can be an effective artistic counterpart to a social movement.
Correction: an earlier version of this piece misstated which of the two plays inspired by the 1 in 3 campaign was arriving in NYC for a staged reading this week.